How I buy professional camera gear for less
There is this dichotomy that lives inside of me, I run a business as a photographer and filmmaker, and am also a huge tech geek with a serious case of G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome). This means that I obsessively follow the progression of camera tech.
I spend hours researching cameras and camera gear online, and when there is a new kit that seems fun and exciting, or beneficial to my work, I want it – dare I say need it. The difficulty is that my wallet doesn’t always agree with these purchases. Thanks to the second-hand economy I’ve been able to get my hands on some amazing pieces of gear at a significant discount when compared to new. I’ve since learned that on average, Canadians are also saving hundreds of dollars buying second-hand ($843 to be exact!) Some of my purchases, and their savings, have even enabled my business to grow in ways that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible.
I started in this industry 8 years ago, in the very early days of DSLR video. It was the first time that truly cinematic imagery was available to the masses, and yet the cost of these cameras and lenses held them just out of reach for me. I decided to take a look at Kijiji and was pleasantly surprised at both the quality, and quantity of equipment that was readily available. I was able to purchase my very first two lenses at a fraction of the cost of buying new, all while getting to meet and talk to people in my area that had the same interests. In an industry like this, technology is always advancing, and the camera I used when I started is not the same camera I use today, but what hasn’t changed is that the second-hand economy is still the first place I look when trying to make a responsible purchase.
As a photographer and filmmaker, my job can take on many forms and it often leads me far from home. For a long time, my editing work was getting done at my studio, on my desktop. Earlier this year it had become increasingly obvious that I needed to be able to work in a mobile way or on the go. After a couple days of browsing second hand, I found the exact laptop I was looking for, at hundreds less than it would have been brand new. I was able to meet with the seller just a few hours later, and they even asked for my business card for some upcoming photos that needed to get done! Later that same evening I was editing on my new (to me) laptop. This laptop has enabled me to create content anywhere and everywhere, whether I’m at my studio or not. I’m no longer limited by my location, I’m free get my work done at any moment.
The second-hand economy has been an essential part in helping my business get to where it is today, and I’m sure it will continue to be as I grow and evolve as a photographer in the future, and as the technology industry changes. I challenge any entrepreneur to consider the second-hand economy for their own business needs, or to the hobbyist looking to try something new! You’ll never know what one purchase might lead to.
Learn How to Get Involved in the Second-Hand Economy!
If you’ve bought or sold used items, swapped, or donated, you’re already an active contributor!